I am searching for a classic, elegant, timeless name that is not somewhat rare (or at least not overly common). Its painfully high maintenance, I know. The hubby tells me every day I fear trendy names, that will one day feel “dated”, or will feel very pointedly from this decade.
[name]Do[/name] you think any of these names will ever feel symbolic of our children’s generation? [name]Do[/name] you anticipate these names ever feeling dated?
[name]Eleanor[/name]/[name]Elinor[/name] w/ nn [name]Nora[/name]
[name]Phillipa[/name] (I fear this name will soar - I myself am guilty of a post [name]Royal[/name] wedding crush on the nn [name]Pippa[/name]!)
To give you an idea, I love names like: [name]Margaret[/name], [name]Caroline[/name], [name]Catherine[/name], and [name]Charlotte[/name], etc. - I am looking for something that feels similarly timeless and elegant, yet slightly less common.
Thank you for your help!
The only two on your list that I think will become dated/associated with this decade are [name]Vivienne[/name] and [name]Eleanor[/name]. Vivenne to me seems part celebrity name ([name]Rosie[/name] O’[name]Donnell[/name] and then [name]Angelina[/name] [name]Jolie[/name] both used it increasing its profile) as well as I think (don’t quote me on the book) The Ya-Ya Sisterhood made the whole [name]Vivi[/name] nn popular. [name]Eleanor[/name] to me seems like it will be the next [name]Emma[/name], I personally know four little Eleanors under the age of three and as a result I don’t think in twenty years any of them/their peers with be naming any children [name]Eleanor[/name] so it will become associated with this time period. On the rest of your names I think you are safe, I patricularly love [name]Honor[/name]. [name]Pippa[/name] has been popular in Britian for years, so even if we see an increase of use in the name here I don’t think that it will become a name associated solely with the [name]Royal[/name] Wedding. Lots of luck!
[name]Vivienne[/name] - yes, especially with Brangelina naming their daughter this.
[name]Honor[/name] - yes.
[name]Helena[/name] - no.
[name]Eleanor[/name]/[name]Elinor[/name] w/ nn [name]Nora[/name] - no.
[name]Rosalie[/name] - yes? Now whenever I hear this one, I think Twilight.
[name]Imogen[/name] - I’m not a [name]Brit[/name], so I’m probably not the best to give advice on this one.
[name]Gwendolen[/name] - no, and I love the nickname [name]Wendy[/name].
[name]Cecelia[/name] - I love this! I wish more people knew about it, it’s very lovely.
[name]Eliza[/name] - doesn’t seem classic to me at all.
[name]Phillipa[/name] - I love [name]Pippa[/name], too! I don’t think [name]Phillipa[/name] will soar though.
I adore [name]Margaret[/name] and [name]Caroline[/name]! Especially [name]Margaret[/name], she’s such an underrated classic. You might like:
Well, to be honest, yes. I think all of those names will be somewhat associated with our children’s generation. We don’t like to admit it, but our style is very influenced by our peers and most of these names are being discovered by others as well. This blog had a great take on it…
[name]Vivienne[/name], [name]Eleanor[/name], and [name]Imogen[/name] are really the only ones I would worry about, and they aren’t even close to names like [name]Scarlett[/name], [name]Harper[/name], and [name]Bella[/name] that I feel will become extremely dated in the future. Your list is lovely in general, the only thing I would suggest is using the spelling [name]Cecilia[/name], the original-- [name]Cecelia[/name] is pretty much a made up spelling and it doesn’t look nearly as classic and sophisticated as [name]Cecilia[/name].
I’d be concerned about both [name]Eleanor[/name] and [name]Helena[/name]. Some form of [name]Helen[/name] is always in, but the balance changes. It was [name]Ellen[/name] a few decades back.
So I suppose [name]Eliza[/name] could be in a similar situation.
Tied to a certain generation, maybe, but not dated. Names do come in waves, and currently one noticeable theme is for vintage names like the ones on your list. But this is a cyclical thing, especially as all of your choices have already stood the test of time, having been used well in other generations - I wouldn’t worry about it. Very few names - only [name]Sarah[/name], [name]Caroline[/name], [name]Elizabeth[/name] and the like, and even the last one of those can be dated by her nicknames - are perennial favourites. There is a difference between being identifiably of one generation (as we might call names now resurging, like [name]Rose[/name] and [name]Dorothy[/name], grandmother names) and being so astronomically popular that the connection is so strong as to cloud people’s perception of the name, making it dated ([name]Susan[/name] for the 50s, [name]Jennifer[/name] for the 70s).
However, of the names on your list, if you really want something as timeless as [name]Elizabeth[/name], I think your best bet is [name]Phillipa[/name] - I’ve known Phillipas of all ages. [name]Honor[/name], [name]Eleanor[/name] and [name]Rosalie[/name] will probably have the strongest connection to this generation in the future.
[name]Just[/name] wanted to point out that [name]Philippa[/name] is usually spelled as I have here, with one L and two P’s (not counting the beginning P).
Compared to the generations before and after ours, these names will seem dated, because in my generation it was all about [name]Amy[/name], [name]Michelle[/name], [name]Heather[/name], [name]Jennifer[/name], etc. And when our kids have kids, they’ll want to choose something that sounds fresh and different. But the thing that makes the names you listed different from those of my generation, or even different from my mom’s generation ([name]Linda[/name], [name]Cathy[/name], [name]Debbie[/name], [name]Pam[/name], etc.) is that the names you have listed have a long history of use prior to now, so they are not strictly of this generation. It removes a bit of the trendiness. The names you listed, while embodying a style popular at the moment, could also conjure up images of generations ago. The names that were sort of invented, coined, or first used in recent times will feel even more like the quintessential names of this generation ([name]Madison[/name], [name]McKenzie[/name], [name]Makayla[/name], etc.). But most people don’t consider historical trends, and may just think, years from now, “There sure are a lot of Pippas, Viviennes, and Cecilias in my mom’s generation.” It is really hard to predict which names will rise in coming years though. The ones you listed don’t seem terribly trendy to me, although a lot of that may do with where one lives.
I think that [name]Little[/name] [name]Fern[/name] put it quite well. Because none of these names have sprung up for the first time with this crop of babies, I don’t think they will really be pinned to their generation. While for any one of the names one might think “a lot of people born around 2011 have this name” they probably wouldn’t see any of them as quintessentially 2011 names. [name]Jennifer[/name] feels very 70s because that’s when it first became noticeably popular. If you’ll take [name]Eleanor[/name], for example, while being used more frequently nowadays, won’t feel 20-teens, because there’s already such a precedent for it, from different decades, whether you’re talking [name]Jane[/name] [name]Austen[/name] characters or [name]Eleanor[/name] [name]Roosevelt[/name]. And I think that idea can be applied to pretty much all the names on your list.
Also, through the thread, someone had mentioned that they thought the name [name]Honor[/name] would be considered trendy down the line. That may happen, but I seriously doubt it when you consider that [name]Honor[/name] isn’t even in the Top 1000 names. So how trendy could it get if there are actually very few babies being given this name? [name]Gwendolen[/name] and [name]Imogen[/name] aren’t in the Top 1000 either.
I think sometimes on nameberry, we get a false sense that a certain name is really trendy–for example, I see [name]Beatrix[/name] bandied about on the boards all the time, leading me to feel like it’s really popular–when in reality, it’s not in the Top 1000 either, and I’ve never met someone by that name, or read a birth announcement for a baby [name]Beatrix[/name].
But that’s not to say that a popular name is a trendy one. Now, if you take an actually more common name, like [name]Cecelia[/name], you might notice that it’s hovered between 200 and 400 on the Social Security list since 1880–making it more popular today than other options on your list like [name]Helena[/name] or [name]Vivienne[/name]. But it’s always been around there, and so despite it’s relative popularity, it doesn’t feel tied to any one time–at least not to me. So ostensible popularity obviously doesn’t indicate trendiness.
Sorry this has been long–but I hope it helps you feel that you can really go with what you like.
I agree with the previous posters–the names on your list evoke this era in baby-naming (as opposed to when we were born or our mothers were born), but I don’t think any of them will feel particularly dated. You could check the SSA popularity of these names over the previous 20+ years, and if they’ve been relatively stable over that time I would feel confident that they’re not going to feel tied to this era, even if they continue to rise in popularity over the coming years (which none of us can predict). This is assuming you’re in the US, of course.